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J Environ Sci Health B. 2016;51(5):261-70. doi: 10.1080/10934529.2015.1128726. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

Implication of zinc excess on soil health.

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a Department of Microbiology , University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn , Olsztyn , Poland.


This study was undertaken to evaluate zinc's influence on the resistance of organotrophic bacteria, actinomyces, fungi, dehydrogenases, catalase and urease. The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse of the University of Warmia and Mazury (UWM) in Olsztyn, Poland. Plastic pots were filled with 3 kg of sandy loam with pHKCl - 7.0 each. The experimental variables were: zinc applied to soil at six doses: 100, 300, 600, 1,200, 2,400 and 4,800 mg of Zn(2+) kg(-1) in the form of ZnCl2 (zinc chloride), and species of plant: oat (Avena sativa L.) cv. Chwat and white mustard (Sinapis alba) cv. Rota. Soil without the addition of zinc served as the control. During the growing season, soil samples were subjected to microbiological analyses on experimental days 25 and 50 to determine the abundance of organotrophic bacteria, actinomyces and fungi, and the activity of dehydrogenases, catalase and urease, which provided a basis for determining the soil resistance index (RS). The physicochemical properties of soil were determined after harvest. The results of this study indicate that excessive concentrations of zinc have an adverse impact on microbial growth and the activity of soil enzymes. The resistance of organotrophic bacteria, actinomyces, fungi, dehydrogenases, catalase and urease decreased with an increase in the degree of soil contamination with zinc. Dehydrogenases were most sensitive and urease was least sensitive to soil contamination with zinc. Zinc also exerted an adverse influence on the physicochemical properties of soil and plant development. The growth of oat and white mustard plants was almost completely inhibited in response to the highest zinc doses of 2,400 and 4,800 mg Zn(2+) kg(-1).


Enzymes; microorganisms; resistance index; soil; zinc

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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